Star Brisbane midfielder Lachie Neale has stated he is "excited" by the prospect of being named club captain for the 2023 season, claiming that the Lions' current list is the best he has seen up close.
The captaincy post at the Gabba became vacant for the first time in five years after former skipper Dayne Zorko stepped down from the role earlier this month.
While the ultimate prize evaded Zorko during his leadership tenure, the outspoken midfielder steered Brisbane from the brink and back to the September action.
Speaking to 7News' Mitch Cleary, Neale said taking over from his midfield mate would be an honor.
"If the club and the players feel I'm the right person to do that, then I'd be really humbled and excited to do that role," the Brownlow medallist said.
While lock to return to the leadership in 2023, Neale suggested the expectations of the job had helped him blossom further as a player, even if 2022 vice-captain Harris Andrews remains the favourite for the armband.
"The last two or three years, I've been able to come outside myself and really try and drive and improve others around me, especially young midfielders," Neale explained.
With star import Josh Dunkley and blue-chip draftee Will Ashcroft joining Neale in the Lions' engine room, the 29-year-old professed that Brisbane's roster was the best he had seen in his 12 years at league level.
"Talent-wise, it's the best list I would have played with, but we know that doesn't get it done," Neale said.
But while the stars running it back appear primed for premiership success, the addition of Ashcroft has had tongues wagging over the summer.
Having been taken with the second selection of the 2022 AFL Draft, the talented teenager has already earned the highest praise inside the four walls of the Den.
"He's probably the best I've seen (in terms of a) ready-made talent ... it's phenomenal what he can do. At ground level, around stoppages, for a first-year player, it's pretty special to watch," Neale said.
Ashcroft will have a pair of opportunities to stake an early claim when Brisbane faces off against Sydney (Tramway Oval) and Geelong (Brighton Homes Arena) to cap their pre-season.
The Lions will then travel to face Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval for the duo's Round 1 clash scheduled for Saturday, March 18.